JOPLIN, Mo. — Low employment rates are causing a shortage of skilled workers, and the Missouri Job Center has a way to help.

“The state of Missouri has put an emphasis on construction of roads, repairs of roads and bridges and so lots and lots of employers are hiring for those types of positions,” said Pam Regan, One Stop Operator for Job Center in the Southwest Missouri Region.

The Missouri Job Center is offering free training for qualified individuals in both heavy highway construction and child development associate credentials.

“Snap Benefits, they automatically qualify, homelessness qualifies, we look at income eligibility for everyone in the family that’s working. So we do look at those kinds of things but they can give us a call and find out what eligibility might look like for them,” said Regan.

Monday was orientation day for the Heavy Highway Construction Training. People who attended the training received certifications.

“It will give them a class A CDL, flagging, OSHA 10, CPR, first-aid, lots and lots of other, forklift I do believe is on that as well. And it’s just like a two-week training,” said Regan.

Enrollment has begun for the Child Development Associate Credentials Training class, with those classes beginning next week.

“That is for individuals that are interested in working in daycares, preschools, or any kind of childcare. This is that one certification that is going to get your foot in the door,” said Regan.

The Childcare Development Associate Credential class requires a certain number of hours in a classroom setting to get a chance to work with students.

“During that credentialing process the classroom time – we’re actually working with economic security to get you a paycheck while you’re doing that part of it. So the time that you’re learning the things that you need to know, that will be without pay,” said Regan.

Officials say that there is a need right now for childcare workers and facilities as the wait on some childcare enrollment lists could last up to two years long.

“Now childcare is really tough for both the childcare centers that are looking for people and then the lack of the childcare centers that are available. I went to a meeting recently and they said if you plan to have a baby, the day you get married you need to get on the waiting list,” said Regan.